"Protestant Christians in Thailand 2009" by Marten Visser

The booklet linked below is "Protestant Christians in Thailand 2009", a 14 page summary of Marten Visser's research on conversion growth among Protestant churches in Thailand. It is a very quick read and worthwhile for anyone wondering what the most relevant factors for Thai people coming to Christ and churches growing.

Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - Protestant Christians in Thailand
Chapter 2 - Growth of Protestant Christianity 
Chapter 3 - Who become Christians? 
Chapter4 - Effective evangelism
Chapter 5 -Churches that grow

Protestant Christians in Thailand 2009 booklet cover Marten Visser

When the King of Thailand Jammed with the Baptists

In the early days of Protestant mission work in Thailand, it was common for missionaries to meet Thai royalty, who often kept themselves apprised of the missionaries’ work.  As the country changed and grew, and the 20th century progressed, such relations became less common. 

In the early 1960s, however, a visiting Southern Baptist choir had a unique audience with His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, illustrating the goodness of God’s provision as well as the kind generosity His Majesty and his love of music. Ron Hill, a longtime missionary to Thailand who was involved in early Southern Baptist work in that country relates the story as follows.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama 9) and King Vajiralongkorn (Rama 10),  September 4, 1964

Mary Cort's Strange Christmas in Siam, 1875

 Phetchaburi, Thailand


by Mary L. Cort

Petchaburi, Siam,

Jan 4. 1875


A Tropical Climate.

The 25th of December was the strangest Christmas I ever spent in my life. There was no Wintry weather outside, no cold or snow, but sunshine, birds, and flowers. The natives were still busy with their rice harvest, and the trees were still gathering sweetness for their luscious fruits. The air was warm and balmy, and the fragrant hay filled the stalls for the cattle just as in the long ago when the Christ-child laid his sacred head among the sweet dry grasses, and became our blessed human Saviour. How glad I am that in ages past he was born in Bethlehem, and we have a Christmas Day to rejoice in—even one in which the loving Father gave to his children the "unspeakable gift.” O that Christ might be formed in the hearts of this people, and a glad Christmas dawn for darkened Siam! I have no doubt the sunshine of that olden time bathed with morning light the very hills that stand about me where I write. For was not Asia the birthplace of our Lord, and did they not see his star in the East?   Who knoweth from whence the wise men journeyed, or whether the gold, the frankincense, and the myrrh, were, taken from Persia, from India, or Siam? But this I do know, that once again, in the fulness of time there will be a bringing of gifts to the Saviour, and that then many from this land will cast their bright crowns at his feet! 

excerpt from Mary L. Cort, "MISSIONARY LIFE IN SIAM". New York Evangelist (1830-1902), April 29, 1875, 46, 2.

photo credit: Kritmongkholrat

How Christianity Improved the Status of Women in Thailand (1925)

Christianity is sometimes accused of oppressing women and destroying local cultures so I thought the brief article posted below was a fascinating alternative narrative to that popular charge. It was written in 1925 by a Thai Christian woman who was the first woman to hold a teaching credential in Northern Thailand. She confirms that the introduction of Christianity to her country did indeed change the local culture, but not in the way some might expect. For her, and many other Thai women, Christianity meant greater respect and opportunities for women, not oppression or subjugation.

There were certainly also other factors that influenced changes in the status of women in Thailand besides Christianity per se, but her testimony is a valuable piece of the puzzle in understanding the changes that have happened in the last 100 years or so.

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Suda Javani, “Changing Custom”, Siam Outlook, v.4, no.4, April 1925, 140-141, Payap University Archives

Source: Suda Javani, "Changing Custom", Siam Outlook, v.4, no.4, April 1925, 140-141, Payap University Archives.